Pops Fernandez

The Way I Feel Inside

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AllMusic Review by

Philippine singer Pops Fernandez's last two albums were dominated by remakes of Western tunes, and on 2002's The Way I Feel Inside, she turns to an album dominated by Philippine-composed tunes. Of the album's 11 songs, one is upbeat and another is mid-tempo, and the other nine songs are easy listening. This doesn't include the short, ballad-like "Opening Theme" and "Closing Theme," on which she sing parts of "The Way I Feel Inside," the album's only Western-composed song. The quality of Pops Fernandez's singing has varied from album to album. On 1999's excellent Nagmamahal Pa Rin Sa 'Yo (Still Loving You), her vocals had depth, but on another 1999 album, Moments, she sounded thin and reedy, a problem that has plagued her on other albums. She is in top form on The Way I Feel Inside, where she stays in the middle range where she is comfortable, and her vocals have depth and feeling. In fact, she sounds better than the material she is given to sing (she's not a composer), which lacks much substance. Yet these are the type of songs that have a chance of selling here, and oftentimes a recording artist or composer doesn't have much choice. While it would be nice if the material was as strong as that of 1999's Nagmamahal Pa Rin Sa 'Yo, which benefited from strong easy listening and middle-of-the-road compositions -- it isn't, and it's too late now. Still, the album is pleasant, and there are enough subtle differences to keep it from being too redundant, and for all that, the album might sell in the Philippines, where listeners crave easy listening love songs. In addition, the album gets better on repeated listenings, which allows a person to absorb more of the subtle differences, but the album will never be a standout. Two of the nicer songs include the ballad "Bakit Ka Lumayo?" (Why Did You Leave?) and the mid-tempo "Kahapon Nagdaan Ang Bukas," (Yesterday, Tomorrow Had Passed), but the real revelation on this album is the strength and assuredness of Pops Fernandez's singing.